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Board workshop - 23 March 2016

The workshop of the Hunter Local Land Services (HLLS) Board was held in Tocal.

Susan Hooke chaired the meeting. Board members in attendance were Ron Campbell, Ted Laurie, James Clark and Peter Bishop Jnr, Daryl Dutton and Tony Hegarty.

HLLS support staff were also present.

The Board acknowledged that the meeting was held on the lands of the traditional custodians and paid respect to elders past and present

Chair update - Susan Hooke

Introductions and discussion with Tim de Mestre, Chair of Chairs.
The Board received a briefing from the new LLS Chair of Chairs.
The Hunter LLS Board provided feedback on what’s working well and areas for improvement.

Investor Requirements update

The Board was briefed on recent feedback from Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) regarding investor preferences for Catchment Action NSW (CANSW) funds. The Board noted the significant work required to comply with investor requirements for the 2016/17 and 2015/16 CANSW Business Plans.

Budget Development update

The Board approved a change to the process for developing the 2016-17 Budget, with development of the regional budget to occur after preparation of the state level budget by the Chief Financial Officer.

Agricultural Extension/Advisory Implementation Strategy

The Board reviewed and provided feedback on an early draft of the implementation strategy which seeks to operationalise the state wide work on Agricultural Advisory Services, the Hunter Local Strategic Plan and the district level delivery model.

District Priorities Assessments

The Board provided feedback on the district priorities assessment, using the Lower Hunter as an example. The Board requested changes and submission of an updated draft to the April Board meeting, with the intent the final district priorities will provide additional direction to regional service delivery planning for 2016/17.

Pest Animal Review

The Board was briefed on the soon to be released draft Pest Animal Review by Natural Resources Commission and discussed possible implications for the Hunter region. The Board was updated on the formation of the Mid North Coast Wild Dog Association.

HCC Revised Program and Budget Options

The Board considered the Lower Hunter Community Advisory Group’s feedback on options for Hunter Catchment Contributions (HCC).

The Board reviewed and adopted a budget option based on statutory requirements, feedback from Community Advisory Groups and stakeholder feedback via the Local Strategic Plan. The Board approved staff to seek approval from the Minister for Primary Industries for raising the catchment contribution and requested staff to develop a detailed program for 2016/2017.

Other Business – Susan Hooke

The Board was briefed by Tony Hegarty on the recent Aboriginal Community Advisory Group meeting. The Board was briefed on the positive feedback from the Advisory Group members and the election of a new co-chair.